With the NFL draft coming this May, the Atlanta Falcons are looking to reload a team that has many glaring holes to fill. As we closer approach May, the excitement has already begun to build as to who will go number one overall or what top prospect will increase or decrease his stock. For the Falcons, there is much work to be done for a team who was looking to make a run at the Super Bowl this past season, but now is just looking to be respectable once again.
Atlanta will have the sixth overall selection in this coming draft and will be picking in the top seven of each and every round; that is assuming that General Manager Thomas Dimitroff doesn’t pull off another infamous trade like he has become so accustomed to doing.
Two major needs Atlanta has to address are in the pass rush and on the offensive line. There have been several names to appear at the number six spot in various mock drafts. Below are potential suitors Atlanta might take with their sixth overall selection.
Greg Robinson looks to be potentially a starting left tackle that is rugged and tough; two characteristics the Falcons are looking for in an offensive lineman. Robinson, who has only been playing football since his sophomore year of high school, is known for his ability to block in the running game. He started every game last season at left tackle for the Auburn Tigers and helped pave the way for Heisman finalist Tre Mason.
For Atlanta, a team that ranked dead last in rush yards per game last season, Robinson could be an appealing asset to have on their offensive line. One question that Robinson needs to answer is his ability to pass protect. Matt Ryan was sacked at an alarming rate last season and the Falcons will look to sure up their offensive line with guys who can give better protection up front.
Jake Matthews- OT, Texas A&M
The Outland Trophy finalist started every game for the Aggies last season at the left tackle position. Matthews was a Two-Time All-SEC selection who helped Johnny Manziel orchestrate an incredible highlight reel over the last two seasons.
Matthews is an athletic, strong, physical tackle and has great ability to block in the running game. Another positive trait in regards to Jake Matthews is his versatility. Matthews would have the ability to play anywhere on the line. That is a plus for Atlanta as they have multiple questions concerning their front five. He is a projected top 5 selection who looks to provide an immediate impact to whatever team decides to draft him.
Khalil Mack- OLB, Buffalo
The Three-time first-team All-MAC selection could provide some help and depth to a Falcons linebacking corps that stayed injured all season long. Due to all the injuries, the Falcons were forced to extensively play two undrafted rookies. In 2012 Mack led his team in tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, and forced fumbles.
Liberty and Buffalo were the only two schools to offer Mack coming out of high school but he has made the most of his opportunities as he is projected to be a top pick in the draft. Mack is known for his instincts and body control. He would fit in nicely beside Sean Weatherspoon, who when healthy, can be one of the better linebackers in the league. Khalil is another player who looks to make an immediate impact no matter where he goes.
The Falcons have no shortage of questions to answer and needs to address. They look to be extremely busy in the offseason as free agency is just around the corner. In order to be contending for championships once again, Atlanta will have to make some serious headway in the draft and free agency.